Skinny Singles Pickleball Rules: Everything You Need To Know


You might have heard a lot about practicing different shots in pickleball. However, finding four people for a practice match does get difficult. Therefore, skinny singles or half-court pickleball matches are played where two people can practice different shots and strategies. Although this form of a match is usually a dummy match and is not played officially, there are some rules you must adhere to while playing it. In this article, we have provided an ultimate guide to skinny singles, its variations, and the methods used to play them. Read until the end to get the most benefit out of your next skinny singles match.

What is Skinny Singles?

Skinny singles or half-court pickleball is a drill for pickleball played on one side of the pickleball court. Out of the four sections of pickleball, players have to choose two opposite courts.

These courts can be either diagonal, down the line, or a mix of both. We have explained different variations of skinny singles below.

A game of skinny singles is challenging and beneficial for those who play sports for fitness. In this type of singles, only two players are involved so the players have to continuously run around to play the game.Skinny Single Pickleball: Everything You Need To Know

Rules of Skinny Singles

Before understanding the gameplay of pickleball skinny singles, it is essential to understand its rules. Although the rules of the skinny single are similar to the doubles of pickleball, some rules differ.

Here are some of the rules you must adhere to while playing skinny singles with your teammate;

  • In Skinny Singles, only the scorer gets to move, the receiver stays put until they earn a serve and then score a point. If the score of the players is in odd numbers, the service should be made from the left area of the court towards the left area of the other player.
  • In case of an even score, the server will make a serve from the right area of the court towards the right area of its opponent.
  • If the server loses the rally by making a fault, its opponent will be awarded the serve.
  • The double bounce rule applies to skinny singles.

How to Play Skinny Singles game?

A court of skinny singles can be set separately or you can choose the half side of a regular pickleball court to play this game. To set a separate court, use a pickleball starter set. You can make a temporary skinny singles court in your backyard with the pickleball net that comes in the set.

However, if you make a small pickleball court, you wouldn’t be able to use authentic serves and cross-court skinny singles. Therefore, it is advised to use the real pickleball court for playing skinny singles.

Only two players can play the skinny singles. However, the rules of doubles pickleball are used for this game. This means a team can practice its doubles strategies without bringing four people on the court.

Since only one-half of the court is used in this game, if a player hits the ball outside the court of their opponent, it will be considered a fault.

Variations of Skinny Singles

There are three variations of skinny singles that you can use to practice the shots of doubles.

Down the Line

One player stands on either side of the court with the other right in front of them. For a better understanding, you can check the illustration on the image.

down the line skinny singles

To play down-the-line skinny singles, a serve is not made in a diagonal court. To practice the serve, some people serve the cross court and then move back to the position of the line game and continue until the end of a rally.

Cross Court

Cross-court skinny are very simple. The player stands on one side of the court and the other will stand diagonally to them on the other side of the court.  This cross court skinny is best for those who want to practice their serves.cross court skinny singles

Down the Line + Cross Court

This is a complicated but very useful version of skinny pickleball singles. Players start the match by standing on their right/even sides of the court.

In this combination game, the server who wins a point will switch from the right to the other side of the court. If the server makes a fault, they will lose their services, but the position of their opponent won’t change.

So there will be some moments in this game when both players are playing cross court but in some moments, both will be playing down the line.

This version of pickleball is considered more helpful as it allows the players to practice different shots and serves.

How Does Half Court Pickleball Help in Doubles Game

In a skinny pickleball singles game, the rules of doubles are applied. Therefore players can easily practice these rules with only one additional player.

A doubles match is played by two teams and one team has two players. Team members get a chance to practice different moves and shots. They can also make new strategies to win their next game.

Final Words

All in all, skinny singles is a version of pickleball where players only play on half the side of the court. They can either play down the line, cross court, or have a mixture of both.

Lastly, we would like to ask you to keep on practicing and playing the skinny singles with your teammate if you want to win the next doubles game. Good luck!

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